KWD Welcomes Mpho

February 15th, 2016

Keith White Design isMpho at Work pleased to announce the arrival in the workshop of Mpho Mokgatle.
He is the first of the DeBeers sponsored development students announced at the 2015 Shining Light Awards
Mpho is from Botswana and this is the first time that he has lived outside his home country. So this is the start of an exciting and, we hope, rewarding adventure for him, everyone at KWD is doing their best to help him settle in.As the first student from outside SA he is opening the way for others from Southern Africa to benefit from the skills transfer that he will receive, especially in Botswana, where we are forging important and mutually beneficial links. KWD sees this as an opportunity to begin the export of our training programme into neighboring countries, at the same time helping where we can to improve skills in this important, strategic industry.

We will be working closely with Mpho guiding him in the art of jewellery manufacture and passing on knowledge that will hopefully stand him in good stead when he returns to Botswana.
Once again KWD would like to thank DeBeers, and especially those at DTC Botswana, for their continued support for the Black and White training programme, we all recognize the importance of skills transfer such as this.



Italian Adventure!

November 6th, 2015

In August we received an invitation from MQA together with the National Skills Fund (NSF) for interested students to apply for a sponsored 2 year training programme at Il Tari Design School juMQA Italy Farewell Banquetst outside Naples, Italy. Four of our Students, Liba, Jongani, Sifiso and Nhlanhla applied and all 4 were accepted, indeed the panel which included representatives from Il Tari commented that the 4 were if anything ‘over qualified” we like to believe that is a reflection of the training they got at KWD!! They joined a further 21 students from various institutions and all provinces of SA. After a whirlwind few weeks which included a farewell banquet hosted by MQA and the Department of Higher Education they left for Italy. All 4 have now started their training at Il Tari and we are getting constant reports on their progress. Some are finding it harder to settle in than others which is understandable. All at KWD are looking forward to the Christmas holidays when the 4 are returning to SA before resuming in Italy at the start of the new term in 2016. I’m sure we will get to hear all about life there as well as what they have learnt. This is an exciting opportunity for all and we wish them luck and are proud that they are flying the South African flag, representing KWD, and showing the talent that we know exists here. Photo at the Farewell Banquet from left to right: Liba, Sifiso, Keith, Jongani, Nhlanhla.



KWD and Shining Light Awards

November 6th, 2015

Keith White and KWD have a long standing working relationship with the DeBeers Shining Light Awards dating back over 10 years. Indeed the KWD workshop has manufactured winning pieces for the awards in 2009 2012 and 2014. So when DeBeers asked Keith to move over to the ‘otherside’ and be a member of the judging panel for the 2015 competition he was thrilled to accept.
Over a 2 day period Keith and his fellow judges studied more than 150 designs from South Africa, Botswana and Namibia before choosing a final 12. Keith says ” I found the whole process very rewarding and it is encouraging to see that there is so much talent and potential residing in these young designers. It confirms my belief that competitions of the stature of Shining Lights are a very important stepping stone for aspiring jewellery designers in Southern Africa and we welcome DeBeers continuing support in this area”.
The winners were announced at a glittering event held at Circa Gallery in Rosebank on July the 8th and KWD would like to congratulate the winner Lilja Pesanka Hastie from TUT, the 2 runners up Louise Kriek and Madeli Viljoen as well as all the other finalists. In addition to the overall winner 3 students, one from each country, received a development award from DeBeers. This is in the form of a 2 year sponsorship to join the Black and White Training programe at KWD. We are obviously delighted to be chosen by DeBeers to assist these young individuals and help them realize the potential that they have shown. We look on this as a confirmation of the good work that we feel we are doing in the fields of BEE and jewellery manufacture training, both vital to the economy of South Africa and Southern Africa as a whole.
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March 20th, 2015

Thembi Lekota hard at work

Thembi Lekota, who has been in the Keith White Design training program for a year now, was featured in this week’s Sowetan newspaper (March 17 2015). Her talent has been noticed and an article under the ‘Job Market’ column of the paper shows what a dream, hard work and patience can do.

To read the article, follow this link:


March 20th, 2015

Liba Sebothoma


When the PPC Imaginarium Award was launched in 2014, Liba Sebothoma, one of our talented ‘black and White’ jewellery interns at Keith White, had already decided that he will be part of that event. Indeed he lived up to that decision and ended up a with a commendable finalist position.

The award is PPC Ltd’s way of displaying their dedicated support and promotion of the Arts and Design in South Africa. The competition was established in 1992 as PPC Young Concrete Sculptor Awards, and has grown to include more categories, namely, fashion, jewellery, architecture, sculpture, film and industrial design. However the award still holds on to its core principle of providing designers with an opportunity to express their artistry using cement-based concrete as an inspiration or material.


Neck-piece by  Liba

Sebothoma designed and manufactured a neck-piece using silver, concrete and semi-precious gems to tell a story about a woman’s honour; her skirt. “Just as a long skirt is an African woman’s way of honouring her body, so is quality concrete to a homeowner or builder; it is a trusted tool for honouring strength. Similarly, concrete symbolises strong foundations, and the best foundation for raising a respectable woman is to equip her with respect for herself, a strength that she will show even in the way she adorns herself. Though she is soft in many ways, she will be as hard as rock, as hard as concrete,” says Sebothoma.


January 12th, 2015

Starting the New Year De Beers Consolidated mines (DBCM) launched the De Beers Marine Business Hub in Cape Town on the 9th of January 2015. DBCM, through Zimele and its hubs, work in partnership with entrepreneurs of various sectors to develop them and their businesses. They do this through funding and mentorships.FullSizeRender2

During the launch, jewellery designed by the young jewellers and students of Keith White Design was showcased, this being one of the ways through which De Beers stands in support of skills development and jewellery beneficiation. Attending this event were the Honourable Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu, Chairman of De Beers Consolidated Mines Barend Petersen, Chairman of De Beers Marine Burger Greeff, Head of De Beers Zimele, Tsepo Monaledi, Head of Government Relations De Beers, Innocent Mabusela, and Head of De Beers Consolidated mines, Sakhile Nqcobo, to name but a few.

Sandra Ndhlovu of Keith White Design gave a speech on  jewellery manufacturing, its challenges and rewards. She also presented a gift to the Minister, Lindiwe Zulu as a token of appreciation.


December 9th, 2014
Desmond Mapedi with miners

Desmond Mapedi with miners

Tsepo Monaledi, of De Beers Zimele kindly arranged a day of diamond appreciation for Keith, the students and jewellers when he took them out to Cullinan Diamond Mine on the 6th December 2014. At seven hundred and sixty-three (763) meters below the ground, the KWD team experienced what it takes to prise these gems from the ground. The trip took them back to where the diamond value chain begins; at the source, reflecting the hard work it requires to bring the diamonds to their benches.

Babalo, Les and Maki

Babalo, Les and Maki

It was a normal working day at the mine, which gave everyone an opportunity to see for themselves what goes into diamond exploration. The team now have a renewed respect for the men and women who work underground.

We would like to extend a special thank you to Les, our fine tour guide for the day!

KWD Black and White exhibit at De Beers

December 5th, 2014

The month of December began in a remarkable way for the students and jewellers of Keith White Design. Following a hectic four weeks of designing and manufacturing, the team was welcomed onto the foyer of De Beers Head Quarters in Johannesburg. Here, the students and recently qualified jewellers – Mpho, William and Maki – and designer, Banyana showcased their jewellery pieces.

Nikiwe Mathebula speaks about her jewellery to guests

Nikiwe Mathebula speaks to guests

Sterling Silver was the basic material of the jewellery, complemented by other elements of the designers’ choice. These ranged from semi-precious gems to pearls, leather, and wood. The combinations resulted in fascinating, colourful, displays and interesting designer jewellery items. This design aspect added sophistication to some pieces and admirable simplicity to others.

Keith White, Tsepo, Saloshnie and KWD team

Keith White, Tsepo, Saloshnie and KWD team

Also on display were the training pieces manufactured by the students during their internship period, and the Earth Range by Sivana Diamonds. The employees and invited guests of De Beers had the chance to speak one-on-one with the students and jewellers about their work, and moreover to purchase whatever item tickled their fancy.

The exhibition began with speeches from senior management of De Beers who had supported this event from inception. Also in attendance was senior management from Anglo American.

Again we extend a special thank you to Tsepo Monaledi of De Beers Zimele, Saloshnie Naidoo of S & N Corporate Gifts, and Sandra Ndhlovu of Keith White Design for their work in coordinating the event.


October 24th, 2014

April 2013 marked the dawn of a new and exciting era at Keith White Design, especially for the intern jewellers. It is at this time that the company entered into a strategic business partnership with Sivana Diamonds, which is renowned for its exquisite gems and jewellery.

'The Monster' ring by Babalo Rozani for Sivana Diamonds

Earth Range ‘The Monster’ ring by Babalo Rozani

Among the benefits, this partnership seeks to give the young and talented jewellers at Keith White designs a platform to design and manufacture jewellery for a new range called ‘Earth range’. This collection, commissioned by Sivana Diamonds is centred on semi-cut/ semi-polished diamonds.

It is inspired by the untouched and organic character of earth’s many natural resources. And so, it is through this inspiration that many unorthodox yet very captivating pieces have been made by the Keith White Design team.

Both the partnership and the jewellery resulting from it have presented an exciting challenge for the workshop, a challenge that has been enthusiastically embraced.

For more information on the Earth Range:


October 24th, 2014

The AngloGold Ashanti AuDitions competition was wrapped up on the 11th of August 2014 when the three top winners were announced from a pool of 16 finalists. We have great pleasure  in announcing that both the 1st and 2nd place winning pieces were manufactured by the KWD interns in our workshop.

'Connect' by Angela Yeung

Auditions 2nd Place Winner

In 1st place was ‘The Halo’, by Kristen Malan, and 2nd place was ‘Connect’ by Angela Yeung. ‘The Halo’ was an exciting piece to work on, with over 40 moveable parts and boasting 495 separate pieces of gold, it was a journey not usually travelled by jewellery manufacturers. To the jewellers, it was both an adorning headpiece and an engineer’s jigsaw puzzle. The interns were assisted in this process by John and Kristen Malan’s invaluable expertise.

‘Connect’, also a headpiece, was made by literally connecting domed pieces of 18ct yellow and white Gold to one another, forming a ring around the head. All this symbolises the relationship between celestial entities and the human soul.

Five other finalist jewellery pieces from the 16 were also manufactured here at the KWD workshop. These include “I am Gold’ by Nonhlanhla Dubazana, ‘Night Sky’ by Marina Louw, ‘Gold Atlas’ by Yinchu Zhao, ‘Grace of the Inferno’ by Janci Bischoff, and ‘Ancestral Meandering’ by Alida Auret. Thanks to all the designers who gave their time and input into the manufacturing process.

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